I chose to start volunteering with Action Language because I’d heard what a great experience it is from a friend who had been involved with Action Foundation in the past. I volunteer as a teaching assistant in their free English classes for refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants who are unable to access mainstream classes. I saw volunteering with Action Language as an opportunity to help those at a disadvantage and feel like I was doing something really worth-while with my time.
I think that Action Foundation has a great set of values and ethos which are apparent when you’re there. They express the importance of equality and inclusion and this creates such a nice atmosphere to work in. I have been volunteering for four weeks now in entry level classes and have found them very enjoyable, which I put down to how friendly everyone is.
As well as helping the students to understand and assisting the teachers in the delivery of the classes, my time at Action Language has been an opportunity to develop my own skills. For example by setting myself challenging goals and SMART actions, and reflecting on the progress I make, I have already developed my skills in planning and organising. My communication skills have developed through using a variety of methods including speech and writing when communicating information and explanations to the students. Working in a professional environment has also given me the opportunity to practice professionalism in a work setting.
I’m looking forward to further developing my skills in teamwork, personal enterprise, communication and planning and organising in an enjoyable environment as I continue to volunteer for Action Language.
Action Language seemed like the obvious choice for me when picking a placement for my Careers Development Module. The project supports not only language development but, through language, improves the normal lives of the students that attend the classes. Language is a key aspect for integrating into a new society and can make a real difference to the student’s confidence. I really enjoy the reward of assisting in classroom teaching as I get to see each student improve week on week.
I began the placement with hopes that I would be able to help students develop and also personally develop my communication skills .Within just a few weeks at the placement I had learnt a lot about my own communication style. Through watching the talented teaching staff I have learnt a number of flexible styles to use when helping different students. In terms of helping student development, it is hard not to leave a lesson feeling like you’ve helped them progress their English skills as the improvements are often so visible in each exercise you do with them.
I also hoped to simply gain an enjoyable experience which is definitely what Action Language gives you as a classroom assistant. All of the staff at Action Language are patient, welcoming and talented at running engaging sessions each week. The students are enthusiastic and appreciative for the help you provide. The diversity in the classroom means that alongside the work it is really interesting to speak to the students one on one and learn something about their background or culture.
So far my placement at Action Language has been even more than I hoped for and I look forward to continuing my volunteering here.
We deliver English classes for adults (18+) of all abilities in Newcastle and Sunderland and have registration every week. All you need to bring is some ID.
In Newcastle registration is every Monday 1:30 – 3:30pm at The CastleGate (NE1 2JQ)
In Sunderland registration is every Friday 10:00am – 12:00pm at 90 Coronation Street (SR1 2HE)
For information can be found on our ‘Contact Us’ page